Tea growing near Pu Mat National Park at Con Cuong, Vietnam.
Where are Kevin and Ruth now? Con Cuong (Pu Mat National Park), Vietnam.

Where are Kevin and Ruth going next? Ninh Binh, Vietnam.

Friday, April 22, 2022

First impressions of Bulgaria

We've only been in Bulgaria for a day and a half, but there are some things we've noticed already. One of the first things is that the roads are not in very good condition! We missed a pothole yesterday that would have done some serious damage. It was a crater! And this is on a major two lane road that is part of the vignette toll system with a lot of truck traffic.

Also, the roads we've been on so far have no shoulder. But there are pulloffs every few kilometers.

We got up and went for a walk in the park beside where we had overnighted.

Our overnight spot at GPS 42.174611, 26.564236

Loads of buttercups!

It was really pretty.

Getting some exercise.

There were a lot of these community exercise parks in Turkiye as well. I hope they're becoming more common in Canada and the U.S. because the last time we were in those countries even Mexico had more of them. I don't know why, but I was actually a bit surprised to see this on our first day in Bulgaria.

We went and did their nature trail.
Here is Ruth looking at the view.

And here is the view Ruth was looking at.

The trail led to this small lake.

Black-crowned night heron.

We got a little closer.

Scenery along the way.

We took another trail that led us to an abandoned building.

Piles of old boots!

More boots!

And a room full of old boots!

Very strange. We didn't go in because there was too much broken glass and stuff.

Some kind of mural inside.

No, we did not take this bridge!

Had a nice walk, and then we drove north to the small city of Sliven (pop 120,000). There, we found a big Kaufland grocery store like we haven't seen since we were in Germany. We went in and did some shopping. We had been told that Bulgaria is a really cheap country, but first impressions with grocery prices don't agree with that. Booze prices, yes, but not groceries. 

Scenery along the way.

We're headed for those mountains.

Then we drove to the outskirts where it looked like there was a small parking lot at the base of an old chair lift. The chairlift doesn't appear to be related to skiing at all, it's more of a scenic way to get to the top of the mountain. Anyhow, it looked derelict to us and it wasn't running.

We found a good overnight spot for Max, and took off on a hike.

We're headed up there!

It turned out to be a really nice afternoon.

Taking a break.

A couple of small waterfalls along the way.

Another thing we noticed. The older people here in Bulgaria don't seem as friendly. We've learned how to say hello, and good morning, and thank you in Bulgarian. We passed a few people on the trail, and we always say hello to people, but we didn't get much response! The younger people did say hello back to us though.

Ruth and the view.

Kevin and the arch rock.

As we're coming back down, I noticed that the chair lift was running! Turns out that it's still operational. Not sure that I would get on it... it looks pretty rickety! I read that there are some old abandoned hotels at the top and that during the communist years factory workers could take holidays up there. You can also drive to the top and we are contemplating doing that today.

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And in Canada...


  1. My infrequent comment to thank you for the postings. I've been to Turkey briefly (work) but saw nothing like you have shown. Amazing. Enjoying the daily reports. I know it takes time and effort but they are appreciated.

    1. Thank you so much for taking the time to comment and for showing your appreciation for the work that goes into our posts.

      We are so glad that you have been enjoying our posts of Turkiye. It is a big and beautiful country that has so much to offer. There are a lot of hidden gems to see that most tourists miss when the come to visit so we were happy to show people more of this amazing country. We hope that you will be able to come back here for a proper visit rather than for work the next time, we are sure you would have a wonderful time.

  2. Those piles of boots reminded me of piles of Jewish belongings seen in documentary after WWII. It creep me out.

    1. It was definitely a bit creepy! No idea what the story was on them, or how long they have been piled up there, although it didn't look like it had been that long a time.

  3. Nice to see the black capped night herons but the boots are a bit disturbing. Could the place have been a boot factory?

    1. I wish we could have got closer to the herons. I actually thought that they were storks because we were so far away and we had seen storks flying around earlier but once we got back and looked at the photos on the computer, I knew that they weren't.

      Yes, it was definitely a strange sight to see. It didn't look like the place was a factory and not all the boots were the same but they were similar, they looked very military style. There were a couple of buildings and then a tiny bit further down was what looked like some farm buildings, just guessing mind you and they were definitely in the middle of nowhere!

  4. I agree those boots creeped me out also.

    1. It was such an odd sight to see for sure!

  5. Looks like another great country! We do have a lot of public e exercise equipment in Mexico. One is a ten minute walk from our house!

    1. From the the small bit that we have seen so far, we think it is another wonderful country for sure.

      I really wish that Canada and the US would get onboard with the exercise equipment like we have seen in Turkiye, Mexico and a few other countries. Almost every town and village in Turkiye seemed to have at least a few pieces of exercise equipment in their parks.

  6. What a beautiful hike! The photo of Ruth "taking a break" is lovely. Looks like a great spot. The boots are very strange indeed.

    1. It was definitely a really pretty hike. This park has trails everywhere, we are looking forward to getting in a good hike today now that the weather seems to have improved.

      Sure wish we knew the story about those boots, very strange for sure!


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